DW BUREAU / Gurdaspur
Punjab Congress president and party nominee for the October 11 Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll Sunil Jakhar on Friday said BJP candidate Swaran Singh Salaria should have come clean on the rape case against him at the time of filing his nomination papers.
Talking to mediapersons between campaign rallies and meetings, Jakhar said people would now take any decision after taking into consideration all such things, which were ripping apart the cultural fabric of Punjab.
Those involved in such crimes would have to answer the people of Punjab, whose cultural ethos was being endangered by these kind of political leaders, he said at a meeting, exhorting people to cast their votes judiciously, and not to elect such immoral people to any institution. He lamented that as a result of the shameful videos that had gone
viral in the past few days, people had started looking at all politicians with disdain.
Once again challenging Mr Salaria for a debate, Mr Jakhar told a meeting of Bar Association that the BJP nominee was running away as he had no plans for the development of Gurdaspur, nor was he aware of the issues concerning the constituency. “Let him come forward for a debate so that they (people) could judge for themselves who was most suited to represent them in Parliament”, he said.
The PPCC chief said unemployment was today the biggest issue facing Punjab, and in fact the whole of the country. Instead of providing the promised jobs to youth, the Modi government was also busy filling the pockets of big industrialists while the country’s economy was being ruined, said Jakhar, citing reports that there had been a 26 per cent increase in the income of the top industrialists of India. On the other hand, small businessmen and traders were extremely angry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for hitting them with the GST missile, he added.
Expressing concern over Punjab’s industrial situation, Mr Jakhar stressed the need to revive old industries besides setting up new ones in order to revive the economy and generate employment. SAD president Sukhbir Badal used to hold an NRI summit every year, ostensibly to woo investment, but far from getting investment, he would just end up spending money on the summit, he pointed out.
the other hand, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had already announced several measures for industrial revival in the state, said the Congress candidate. Besides Rs 1500 crore budget allocation, the Chief Minister had initiated steps for the elimination of transport mafia and frozen the power tariff, Jakhar said, adding that the new industrial policy would further pave the way for the revival of industry in the state.
Contrasting the SAD-BJP style of functioning with that of the Congress, Mr Jakhar said when he accompanied former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to meet teh then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the latter took no time to release compensation for crop
destroyed in the state. The UPA government, led by Dr Manmohan Singh, never treated Punjab in a step-motherly
fashion, as was being done by the NDA, he added.
Jakhar ridiculed Modi for all-round failure, saying the prime minister’s anti-poor and communal policies were destroying the social fabric of the nation, and would push back investment and growth even further.